Jennifer Finney Boylan

Author, Professor, & New York Times Columnist

Jennifer Finney Boylan is the inaugural Anna Quindlen Writer in Residence and Professor of English at Barnard College of Columbia University.  She is the author of 16 books, including She’s Not There, the first bestselling work by a transgender American.  Her column appears on the op/ed page of the New York Times on alternate Wednesdays. The former chair of the board of the LGBTQ advocacy nonprofit GLAAD, she was a cast member of I Am Cait, as well as a consultant for Transparent.  Her new book, Good Boy, is a memoir of her pre-transition life as a boy and a young man, as reflected in the seven dogs she owned during seven stages of her life.


Jenny has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show four times; she has twice been a guest on the Today Show and on Larry King Live. A frequent guest on news shows, she is also the subject of a documentary on the History Channel. She has spoken at hundreds of colleges and universities over the last twenty years, including Yale, Cornell, Harvard, Wesleyan, Amherst, Brandeis, Duke, Vanderbilt, many University of California campuses, and Grinnell. She has also spoken widely to corporate clients, including the Richmond Human Resources Management Council, the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania; Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York, the National Space and Aeronautics Administration, and the District Attorney’s Office of New York City.

Download Bio
Good BoyMy Life in Seven Dogs
Celadon Books

From bestselling author of She’s Not There, New York Times opinion columnist, and human rights activist Jennifer Finney Boylan, Good Boy: My Life in Seven Dogs, a memoir of the transformative power of loving dogs.

She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders Jennifer Boylan is the author of the first bestselling work by a transgender American. A professor at Barnard College of Columbia University, former chair of the board of GLAAD, and a Contributing Opinion Writer for the New York Times, Jenny is "the sunny face of the transgender movement." In this talk, she discusses the diversity of transgender identities and provides strategies to provide understanding and support. This talk is not just about LGBTQ people; it's about all of us and all the ways in which embracing diversity enables us to live richer lives.
Gender and Resistance Author, activist, and professor, Jennifer examines the current moment in the struggle for equality—for LGBTQ people; for disabled people; for anyone who seems "different" in our current culture. The former chair of the board of GLAAD, Jenny has witnessed firsthand two decades of progress and struggle for the queer rights movement. With humor, compassion, and fierceness, she gives her listeners understanding, inspiration, and solace.
A Twist in Your Plot: On Revision and Invention Jennifer has been a professional writer for 30 years. Author of 16 books, she discusses how revision is not only a vital strategy for writers of fiction and nonfiction; it's also a method for living your best life. With humor, compassion, and wisdom, she encourages her listeners to create and reinvent themselves so that they may become "their own best draft."

Jenny Finney Boylan’s Keynote at the Winter Institute

Jenny Finney Boylan's Keynote at Winter Institute

Read Jenny’s short story THE ASSASSIN in The American Bystander. Jenny reflects on her summers spent on the Jersey Shore in a column for The New York Times. Read Jenny’s cure for the dog days of summer in her column for The New York Times. Read Jenny’s op-ed about Pride Month during a dire time in The New York Times. Read the Daily Beast interview with Jenny. Read Jenny’s article on what Peanuts taught her about queer identity in The New Yorker. Watch Jenny talk about lessons from a life in two genders in The Atlantic. Read Jenny’s column in The New York Times. Follow Jenny on Twitter and Instagram, like her page on Facebook, and read her posts on Medium. Also check out her personal website.

Praise for Good Boy “Boylan’s gorgeously crafted homage to our unconditional love of dogs turns out to be much less of a paean to her constant canine companions, and much more of a journey through her own psyche and the moral needle of the world we live in. What do we keep, even as we lose pieces of ourselves? The dog at your feet while you’re reading already knows the answer.”
—Jodi Picoult, #1 NYT bestselling author of A Spark of Light and Small Great Things

“Good Boy is a warm, funny, instantly engaging testament to the power of love—canine and human—to ease us through life’s radical transitions. And I say that as a cat person!”
—Jennifer Egan, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and author of A Visit from the Goon Squad, and Manhattan Beach

"Beautiful, tender, and utterly engaging, Good Boy measures out Boylan's life in dog years. The result is a gorgeous memoir, full of heart and insight."
—Susan Orlean, author of The Library Book

"Jenny Boylan has given us a story full of humor, earned wisdom, and large doses of unconditional love. Beautifully written, wise, and funny, Good Boy is a gift to us all—but especially the dog lovers."
—Jami Attenberg, author of All This Could Be Yours

"How do you measure a life? Anyone who has lived serially with dogs will appreciate Jenny Finney Boylan's brilliant answer: through the dogs who have accompanied you through that life. The dogs we choose reflect us, and how we live with them reflects on us. Silent observers of the vicissitudes of growing up -- and being grown up -- Boylan's dogs track her selves. Good dogs, all."
—Alexandra Horowitz, author of Our Dogs, Ourselves: The Story of a Singular Bond, and the New York Times bestselling Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know